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2015/2016  BA-BHAAI1022U  Principles of Macroeconomics

English Title
Principles of Macroeconomics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Professor Christos N. Agiakloglou, University of Piraeus. agiaklis@unipi.gr
    Sven Bislev - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
If you have any questions to the academic content of the course, please contact Course instructor or Academic director Sven Bislev, sb.ikl@cbs.dk,
Main academic disciplines
  • Economics
Last updated on 09-06-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Explain fully the basic concepts, models, theories and tools used in this macroeconomics course and use them to analyze economic decisions by individuals and by firms.
  • Explain how and what we measure economics agggregates. Explain why economics focuses on economic growth and develop models that help us to understand what factors aid in economics growth. Explain why we care aout growth and how knowledge of personal finance ands stock markets can lead to growth in aggregate and indiovidual wealth.
  • Predict the typical general effects of the business cycle on inflation and unemployment. Display clear knowledge of the correct countercylical monetary and fiscal policies in an economic contraction and an economic expansion.
  • Articulate and explain the origins, workings, and potential problems in monetary systems.
  • Analyze economic outcomes in terms of their effects on aggregate income and income distribution.
  • Outline the major themes of international trade and international finance in an economic analytical framework.
Course prerequisites
No prerequisites. Useful background - Algebra
Principles of macroeconomics:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Summer, Ordinary exam: 1-5 August 2016
Retake exam: Within two months from the ordinary exam.
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book: no aids
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Same as the ordinary exam. 4-hour written sit-in exam, with a new exam question
Course content and structure

The Principles of Macroeconomics is the introductory, foundational course that gives students a comprehensive overview of macroeconomic theory. It provides the framework for subsequent intermediate macroeconomic theory courses and is any student's introduction to the analysis of economies at the aggregated (national or state) level.


Macroeconomics is the study of the behavior of an entire economy aggregated across all of the individual decision-making units. It deals primarily with those factors affecting production, employment, and price levels. Topics which we will cover include: economic growth, business cycles, the national debt, interest rates, government spending, the measurement of economic aggregates, monetary policy, and fiscal policy. We will also introduce international economics and policies along with international finance. 


There is relatively wide agreement on the goals of macroeconomic policy: growth in real output, full employment, and price stability. However, macroeconomic theory is marked by diverse perspectives concerning the appropriate policy actions required to achieve these goals. A number of alternative schools of thought exist including Keynesianism, Monetarism, and Rational Expectations. Each stresses different paths and perspectives on the proper path(s) to achieving the goals of macroeconomic success.


Students are encouraged to follow the economic and financial news over the period of the course – the course will provide the background necessary for formulating informed opinions on the workings of a macroeconomy.


The primary focus of this course is on the development of analytical prowess or "critical thinking." The discipline of economics originated within philosophy, rhetoric, logic and mathematics and transitioned through political economy in the 19th century into modern economics.  As a result, economics is a very broad social science drawing upon the interconnectedness of human action. We model human behaviors within particular institutional arrangements.

This course focuses on the macroeconomy including government policies designed to influence, direct, and coordinate economics behavior.  The two major categories of policies covered here are fiscal policy and monetary policy.  We will address how we recognize the business cycle, why we may want to use policy to adjust that cycle, and what polices would be called from in both the fiscal and monetary policy actions spheres. We will also develop an understanding of the monetary system. 

The Preliminary Assignment is to read an article by RA Radford entitled “The economics organization of a POW camp,” (Economica, 1945) and be prepared to participate in the discussion in the first class. The Mid-term Assignment will be a take-home examination covering course materials up to Class 6 and will be similar to the final examination. Its format will be multiple choice and short answer. 




Class 1

1. The Big Ideas in Economics
2. The Power of Trade and Comparative Advantage

Preliminary Assignment due

Class 2

 Supply and Demand, Price Controls
3. Supply and Demand
4. Equilibrium: How Supply and Demand Determine Prices 
5. Price Ceilings and Price Floors

Class 3

Economic Growth, National Income Accounting
6. GDP and The Measurement of Progress
7. The Wealth of Nations and Economic Growth
Appendix: The Magic of Compound Growth: Using a Spreadsheet

Class 4

Economic Growth and Productivity

8. Growth, Capital Accumulation and the Economics of Ideas: Catching Up vs. The Cutting Edge
Appendix: Excellent Growth
9. Savings, Investment, and the Financial System
Appendix: Bond Pricing and Arbitrage

Class 5

Personal Finance, Political Economy and Public Choice

10. Stock Markets and Personal Finance
21. Political Economy and Public Choice

Class 6

Business Fluctuations, Employment, Money, and Inflation
11. Unemployment and Labor Force Participation
12. Inflation and the Quantity Theory of Money

Mandatory Mid-term Assignment

Class 7

Business Fluctuations, Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply, Transmission of Policy
13. Business Fluctuations: Aggregate Demand and Supply 
14. Transmission and Amplification Mechanisms

Class 8

Macroeconomic Policy and Institutions - Monetary Policy and the Fed
15. The Federal Reserve System and Open Market Operations
Appendix: The Money Multiplier Process in Detail
16. Monetary Policy

Class 9

Macroeconomic Policy and Institutions - Fiscal Policy and Congress

17. The Federal Budget: Taxes and Spending
18. Fiscal Policy

Class 10

International Economics - Trade, Finance, and Exchange Rates
19. International Trade 
20. International Finance

Class 11

Comprehensive Review

Teaching methods
The course is based upon the Socratic Method. Though lecture-based, students are expected to contribute to classes. Periodically, I will also use in-class group work focused on a specific short project such an analyzing a case or article. These sessions are designed to encourage critical thinking and to develop analytical skills. All such exercises will be debriefed with the entire class to ensure that students are internalising the major points of macroeconomic relevance.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 10 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 144 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 12 hours
Further Information


Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


Feedback Activity: A feedback activitity defined by the course instructor will take place app. half-way through the course. 


The timetable is available on  http://www.cbs.dk/files/cbs.dk/isup_timetable_2016_updated.pdf

Expected literature

Modern Principles: Macroeconomics

Authors: Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok

Publisher: Worth Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781429278409



Last updated on 09-06-2016